after your reading, please prepare to respond to the following questions:
1. In the film, Calvin and Hobbes actually reversed many personality traits as Jack and Tyler. Is it possible that Calvin is the personality that got repressed and Hobbes is the one that did the “growing up”? Discuss.
2. Tyler wears a fur coat near the end of the movie. What is the significance of this garment, given his past incarnation as a jungle animal? Discuss.
3. If Calvin really wanted to change things, why didn’t he just dust off his old cardboard-box time machine and hop in? Discuss.
4. After the end of Fight Club, when Calvin realizes he’s effectively killed Hobbes twice now, do you really think he’ll still be “okay”? Discuss.
"Getting hideously drunk at a dinner party and embarrassing yourself is certainly nothing new. As far back as the 9th Century, the beautifully named ‘Dunhuang Bureau of Etiquette’ insisted that local officials use the following letter template (dated 856) when sending apologies to offended dinner hosts. The guilty party would copy the template text, enter the dinner host’s name, sign the letter and then deliver with head bowed. The letter was discovered, alongside thousands of other documents, in a sealed cave library in western China. To read more - and I suggest you do - visit the incredible International Dunhuang Project.
The entire scroll, filled with Form Letters adapted for various situations, can be seen here.”
Yesterday, having drunk too much, I was intoxicated as to pass all bounds; but none of the rude and coarse language I used was uttered in a conscious state. The next morning, after hearing others speak on the subject, I realised what had happened, whereupon I was overwhelmed with confusion and ready to sink into the earth with shame.
“We’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that the auditory hallucinations have something to do with eating huge portions of poison ants. As for the schoolchildren all joining in on the act, that sounds like good old-fashioned mass hysteria, since among humans, crazy is more contagious than any disease. Also, at this point we’re starting to think there’s a hidden part of the human brain that just wants an excuse to fuck shit up and blame it on ghosts.”—
“Thanks for urging me to come out to the West. I have been out there a few times and admire the country. But the mountains are not for me. This midwestern farm country is in my blood. By build and by disposition, I am a prairie schooner.”—Grant “American Gothic" Wood
"In one of the rooms, there is an enormous refrigerator, filled with brains packed away in hundreds of plastic containers. Nearby is a tray with small piles of brain slices. They look just like the ginger shavings that come with an order of sushi."
The take-home lesson is that we should be more careful in using “conversely” and “inversely” in our speech and in drawing conclusions from converses and inverses. A weakness in common usage is that no one ever says “contrapositively.” But a contrapositive is the only reframing of a conditional statement that is assured to have the same truth value.
“If p, then q” implies contrapositively “If not q, then not p.”
On a recent drive from Kansas City to Columbia, Missouri, we had an extended conversation on the logic behind Beyoncé’s song “Single Ladies.” Is it really true that “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it”? One way to test your answer is to ask whether the contrapositive is true: “If you shouldn’t have put a ring on it, then you didn’t like it.”
Of course, there are many possible meanings of “liked it,” but the consensus in my family is that neither the statement nor its contrapositive are true (because you might have “liked it” but learned that the other person was married). However, a majority of us think that the inverse of the song’s claim is true: If you did not like it, then you shouldn’t have put a ring on it. And we know that the contrapositive of the statement must also have the same truth value. So we must also believe “If you should’ve put a ring on it, then you liked it.” (The inverse and converse of an original statement are contrapositives of each other!)